Why Are There Even Atheists?

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
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#31

Post by Believer » Thu May 26, 2005 11:42 pm

Josh, I'm sorry you have such strong faith towards not believing. My personal feelings tell me that we do have a purpose in life. Prehaps you han't found it yet, but when you do, you will be glad. Conviction comes when God wants it to be done, I was convicted of all my sins, mind you this WAS NOT a psycological thing within myself, I know myself too well. In fact, God showed me what it felt like to be an atheist for less than a week after my conversion, no one converted me, it was all done through God. I tried to get away from God, trust me, but he showed me what it was like to be an atheist, he put the feelings in me, It was an extremely odd feeling, but when it went away I felt a bunch better. You also mention that you are a young person, well through my expereince with my cousins which are young, they have a hard time believing in God too, but they are starting to see the light of God. Please don't stray away further than you have, it will just lead to destruction and living a life by religion sure does make you feel better about yourself. I know you don't believe in anything at this point in your life, but I KNOW God is real, I can't prove it, but I KNOW He is real, and you are being attacked by secularists and Satan, yes I know, you are laughing at me. You gotta believe me when I say this, you don't have to, but I am just telling you these things.

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#32

Post by August » Fri May 27, 2005 7:21 am

Josh, check your pm.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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#33

Post by jerickson314 » Fri May 27, 2005 10:27 am

LionTamarin wrote:I hardly feel that I launched into an attack on Christians as a whole, but rather talked about those Christians who feel the need to deny anyone elses belief as not only different, but ultimately wrong
If Christianity is true, all contradictory beliefs are false. This has been previously discussed.

Let me use another example. A couple of years ago, two people were playing with their calculators, having them generate random integers from 1 to 10. We were debating what the probability was that both calculators would generate the same number. I knew it was 1 in 10 and had mathematical reasons to prove it, but the others were using faulty logic to say it was 1 in 100.

Was I being an intolerant bigot by not just saying, "If believing that the probability is 1 in 100 works for you, who am I to argue?"
LionTamarin wrote:and those who attempt to say (as has been said many times through the course of the discussion) that as an Atheist I do not really believe what I say I do, but rather am fearing or otherwise angry at God.
I would not say this, so you are not addressing me.
LionTamarin wrote:I felt that I discussed a need for all people accept one another as equals, but altogether different.
You are confusing inherent and non-inherent aspects of people. Skin color is an inherent aspect that cannot be changed (barring plastic surgery). Religious beliefs are a decision and can be changed. They are non-inherent. (These are just examples of each type.)

We should always accept the inherent aspects of each other, but not always the non-inherent aspects.
LionTamarin wrote:I was no speaking of anyone here specifically, but of experiences in general of many people who have alternate belief systems or lifestyles.
Belief systems and lifestyles are almost always non-inherent. They can be changed.
LionTamarin wrote:This question doesn't make sense to me. I stated that people feel the need to spread their beliefs and push forward their own agenda, imposing on others, is wrong. Of anyone, myself included. My post did not debate the existence of God, any god, one way or the other. It did not try to disprove anyone, and I did not spout off garbled and obscure scientific facts in order to prove anything. I simply state what I think in a reasonable manner and did not challenge anyone else's beliefs.
Why not challenge anyone else's beliefs? Was I being intolerant back with the calculator probability example? The fact is, at least one person must logically be wrong whenever two conflicting beliefs exist.

And as Felgar noted, spreading beliefs can be out of love. It doesn't matter if some spread them for the wrong reasons. There is nothing inherently wrong with sharing beliefs.
LionTamarin wrote:I think it is inappropriate to say that people do not believe what they say they do. The post asks for atheists to try an explain their beliefs, but when someone (and not well, mind you) says they are an atheist, everyone becomes accusatory, saying they are not really. They are mad at God. They are afraid of God. They are this, they are that. That is inappropriate because there is no way to have discourse with that, because whatever you say becomes immediately wrong in the eyes of those you are talking to. It is impossible to have a discussion with someone who simply says everything you say, even about your own belief structure is a lie. I believe what I believe and it is not because I am angry with anyone, I'm quite calm and happy with my life (and no, I'm not just saying this, I am). For someone to tell me that this is not true, that I'm lying to myself is inappropriate.

It is also inappropriate, I think, to attack someone's religion on a message board, ask them to respond and then criticize them for even being there in the first place. I happened across this board by chance, as did others I'm sure. My response was, and I maintain this, not an attack at all but perceived at one by people who are being defensive. I was not here for a debate but simply to answer questions and dispell falsities put forth by others.
For the most part, you are accusing people of saying things I wouldn't say. (I know you aren't accusing me; after all I don't have any previous posts on this thread.)

However, you mentioned that you wanted to "dispell falsities". Didn't you previously say that doing that was wrong?
LionTamarin wrote:You show someone a color, and they say purple. That is the color they see. You show, say, a painter the same color. They say mauve because they are more intimately related to colors and color theory than a lay person. (According to Merriam-Webster mauve is both a moderate or a strong purple.) Neither person is wrong, but one is being more specific because he sees the world in a different way because of his experiences, his education, his upbringing, nuances in his genetics where the rods and cones of his eyes are slightly more sensitive to the color purple, whatever.
Right, because their beliefs don't conflict. However, Christianity and atheism do conflict. The other refutations given also stand.
LionTamarin wrote:However, we both wake up and look at the world. You perceive the world as having Intelligent Design, and you see God everywhere you look. I wake up and I do not see either of those things. It does not mean that either of us is WRONG per se, but only that we see the world in different ways. That our brains, and I'm certain they are, work are different because of where we grew up, our experiences, our genetics, and any unlimited number of possibilities. Truth for you and truth for me are two different things, but it would be silly for either of us to call the other wrong. There are people who would put forth the theory that as a Christian the power of your beliefs create God for you, and as an Atheist the power of my belief dispells God.
Logically inconsistent through and through. "It is true that God exists" and "It is not true that God exists" are contradictory statements and cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense. They are in absolutely no sense simply perception. And a God created by the power of beliefs is no God at all.
LionTamarin wrote:I don't call you wrong and don't feel the need to be called wrong, because for us the world holds different truths.
More of your bad logic. Back to the calculator example, did the world hold a different truth for those who thought the probability was 1 in 100? No, an experimental sample would almost certainly reveal a 1 in 10 probability no matter who did it.
LionTamarin wrote:Not all Christians agree that all men are created equal. If they did there would not be people saying that God did this to punish gays, or God did that to punish Muslims. Some Christians believe that, but others believe entirely different things, and look down at the "heathen" population almost as savages.
Wait a minute. Homosexual behavior and Islam are both completely non-inherent. I wouldn't say that a gay person or a Muslim is any less of a person, but I would say that their non-inherent properties should be changed. However, I do recognize that it is their decision rather than mine. I just believe that change would be a good decision and non-change would be a bad decision.

Homosexual "orientation" or "preference", if used as simply a reference to attractions, might potentially be an inherent property (although the evidence seems to indicate otherwise). However, nowhere in the Bible do we find a condemnation of such people. What we do find are condemnations of both lust (which is different from attraction) and behavior. I would strongly disagree with any person who says that homosexual attraction makes someone less of a person.
LionTamarin wrote:In fact, the entire course of Christian history is plagued by intolerance toward others as savage and very much not equal (inquisition, witch hunts, crusades, America's current obsession with homosexuality).
Many of those events were evil. However, they all had a source from selfishness that didn't stem from Christianity.

And that last one about homosexuality is interesting. You might be referring to the attitude of, "If you are attracted to others of the same sex you're going to hell no matter what!" This homophobia is another result of unChristian selfishness. However, the simple belief that "homosexual behavior is wrong" or "we should not permit gay marriage" is solely an argument against non-inherent things. I wouldn't call it intolerance.
LionTamarin wrote:I've had people attempt to get me fired from jobs because I'm not Christian. When things like this happens, it says to me that people do not see me as an equal, because somehow my religion will not allow me to do the job as well as a Christian.
I would say that those particular Christians are wrong.
LionTamarin wrote:As for believing in the concept of a deity, I believe the concept is there. I cannot deny this, because I am talking to people, right this second, who believe in God. It would be foolish for me to not believe in the concept of a deity when it is around me everyday. The concept. Not the deity.

But just because I understand and believe in the concept, does not mean I believe in God. I can conceptualize things that are not indicative of my own personal belief structure, because that is how my brain works. But it does not mean that I have to agree with those concepts or believe in them, I just know those concepts are there.
Right. Not everything you say is wrong, naturally.
LionTamarin wrote:But again, I am not attacking anyone's beliefs. I think you simply came in as defensive. I never once say you are stupid for believing in God, and I don't believe that. I think everyone should believe whatever they want to believe and accept that other people are different. I don't know how many times I have to say this.
I don't know how many times I have to explain how this contradicts even the most basic logic. We should allow people to choose to be different, but we do not have to accept their beliefs as true in any sense, not even "true for them". We can point out where they are wrong.
LionTamarin wrote:I can definitely say that no everyone believes the same thing. How well do I know the Bible? Doesn't matter. How well do I know, broadly, the beliefs of different denominations? Well enough to know that they do not all teach the exact end all word of God.
It doesn't matter if all their teachings are exactly the same. Do all atheists have exactly the same beliefs about everyting in life?
LionTamarin wrote:Are the tenets of the Catholic and Baptist faith the same? In some ways, they are, but in others they are completely different. Would you say that Christian Scientists embody your exact believe in Christ? What about Seventh Day Adventists? Davidians? Mormons? Snake handlers?
You compare two legitimate churches that believe the necessary "core" of Christianity, the part necessary for salvation. Then you mention how they differ on peripheral beliefs, which isn't really surprising. Then you start naming different cults that don't even believe the "core" of Christianity.
LionTamarin wrote:Not every church teaches the exact same message. There are always variances, some large and some small. But to say that everyone believes the exact same thing is untrue.
I would never claim that everyone believes the exact same thing. I would say, however, that many people throughout these churches hold the core beliefs necessary to be truly "Christian". The fact that some people have false beliefs about Christianity says nothing about the truth of Christianity. And I would argue against false beliefs held by Christians when they were brought up. This would not constitute an attack on the person.
LionTamarin wrote:I assume the emphasis on is on "equal" because the framers of this country established a Bill of Rights that gives each and every person certain unalienable rights. We are all given, by their document, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The document does not focus on a Christian people, but any people. It is in the entire context of the document and not in that singular line that I know this.
Right, not just Christians need human rights.
LionTamarin wrote:How do you determine that any of your beliefs are true or false? I am young yet and make the allowance for change over time. These are questions that are impossible to answer because it leads us into dangerous territory. Your perception of the world in some ways dictates your beliefs as does mine. I can't explain the step by step process, but there are those realizations about things, epiphanies, that I'm sure you and many of the people here have had that just make sense. To me, my beliefs make sense through that same kind of process.
Perception != truth. Were all your grade school teachers being intolerant by changing your beliefs about math and spelling?
LionTamarin wrote:8% is still a major proportion. But I don't know if that takes into consideration that China, as a Communist nation, is officially atheist. Probably it doesn't. But what you say does not in any way contradict what I said. Christianity is a plurality, not a majority.
The popularity of a belief has zero effect on the truth of the belief. The earth was round before people knew it was.
LionTamarin wrote:Who are wrong, though? I'm not saying anyone is wrong. I've never said that anyone's belief was wrong. That is your projection. I say that I accept the belief, but it doesn't matter who is winning, still, because it is not a competition at all.
Yeah, I don't know how many times I have to drive home the point that this belief in non-competition is completely illogical.
LionTamarin wrote:I believe that a combination of the Crusades, the inquisition, the Christians murdering the "savages" of North American and the world, the Holocaust (killed beacause they were Jews), Muslim/Jewish tension, Egypts slavery of the Jews, the persecution of Jews for thousands of years, religious wars all over the world for thousands of years (all religions included), I think that would total at least a full billion people over the course of the history of human civilization.

The world is MORE tolerant, but not entirely so. There are still religous tensions that are killing hundreds of people a day.
So what? There are people who claim to be Christians but are motivated by selfishness. This doesn't mean that we should accept contradictory beliefs as true. We shouldn't kill each other, but we shouldn't keep our beliefs to ourselves either.
LionTamarin wrote:It was well written though, and you seem intelligent enough. But I would ask that instead of taking everything I say line by line, or anyone for that matter, you look for the overall theme, which I intended to be ACCEPTANCE. It is like a book, you do not take each paragraph individually and determine each meaning separately. You will lose the meaning of the overall work, unable to see the forest for the trees so to speak.
Tell me what you mean by "acceptance". Does it mean accepting beliefs as true even though they are illogical? Or does it just mean giving people who believe differently basic human rights?

Also, regarding the definition of atheist:

Christians like to define "atheist" as "someone who believes there is no God."

Self-proclaimed atheists like to define it as "someone who does not believe there is a God."

I think it's silly to get into arguments about the meaning of the word. Just because they meet our definition of "agnostic" doesn't mean they can't call themselves "atheists".

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#34

Post by Believer » Fri May 27, 2005 7:56 pm

I can't stand it anymore! Atheists lie to themselves, God is real, I wish He would send conviction to atheists to know he is real like he did to me! Attention atheists, despite what you think, God IS real, not a fake. I know this wont matter to atheists but if you ever wanted to know, God is real, shocking I know :shock: !

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#35

Post by August » Mon May 30, 2005 6:30 am

Since the topic came up earlier in the thread, here are the preambles to the state constitutions, the USA constitution was taken from the first 27 in chronological order. All 50 states acknowledge God in state constitutions:

Alabama 1901, Preamble. We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution.Alaska 1956, Preamble. We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.

Arizona 1911, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...

Arkansas 1874, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...

California 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom..

Colorado 1876, Preamble. We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy..

Delaware 1897, Preamble. Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.

Florida 1885, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty .. establish this constitution.

Georgia 1777, Preamble. We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God , do ordain and establish this Constitution...

Hawaii 1959, Preamble. We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance, establish this Constitution.

Idaho 1889, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings

Illinois 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose our form of government.

Iowa 1857, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings establish this Constitution

Kansas 1859, Preamble. We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges .. establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth of grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties...

Louisiana 1921, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.

Maine 1820, Preamble. We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity ... and imploring His aid and direction.

Maryland 1776, Preamble. We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. We...the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe ... in the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction..

Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom . establish this Constitution..

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings..

Mississippi 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness, establish this Constitution.

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty. establish this Constitution

Nebraska 1875, Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution

Nevada 1864, Preamble. We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution..

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience

New Jersey 1844, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors

New Mexico 1911, Preamble. We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..

New York 1846, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.

North Carolina 1868, Preamble. We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...

North Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...

Ohio 1852, Preamble. We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common...

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble. Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty establish this..

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences..

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble. We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance.

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing..

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina. grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

South Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of South Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for our civil! and religious liberties establish this...

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their science...

Texas 1845, Preamble. We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God

Utah 1896, Preamble. Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution

Vermont 1777, Preamble. Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI .. Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other...

Washington 1889, Preamble. We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution

West Virginia 1872, Preamble. .Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility

Wyoming 1890, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties .. establish this Constitution.

"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." -- William Penn
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

//www.omnipotentgrace.org
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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#36

Post by Blob » Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:53 am

What an entertaining thread! Reading it, I have alternately disagreed and agreed; been incensed and laughed out loud, read tiresomely familiar misconceptions and valuable insights.

I'd like to have a shot at thinker's original question.

Why Are There Even Atheists?

My take is that my atheism is largely demographic. Religion is simply lacking in my culture. A young *ahem* man in Britain today is typically not-religious (I'm in my early thirties). An over-educated geek like me can further be expected to have an explicitly materilaistic viewpoint (although new-agism is becoming fashionable too).

So a fun way to answer thinker's question might be to say what could change my mind.


What would it take to convince me there is a creator-god such as the one of the Bible?
:arrow: Waking up in heaven after I die. Obviously as an atheist I'd be most surprised - to the point of not being an atheist any more.
:arrow: Waking up in hell after I die. I'd know atheism is wrong but I wouldn't necessarily know which god I was supposed to believe in - Jesus or Allah? (for example). Even some forms of Bhuddism have a hell.
:arrow: Meeting a god before I die. My mother met Jesus in a coma after she was hit by a bus (she's perfectly well now I'm delighted to mention). I can't believe she's a Christian, you'd have never have thought. I suspect some bash on the head is pretty well the only way I could find out there is a god without dying. (Pray a ton of bricks drops on my head everyone! lol)


What would fail to convince me there is a creator-god such as the one of the Bible?
:arrow: Evolution proved false. Or irreducible complexity proved true. Or both happening at once. Or fine tuning being proved true or christians being proved to be the swellest people around. These issues are interesting and I debate for fun but who bases their entire belief system on some obscure issue such as the chemistry of flagellum?
:arrow: Pleading from others. I may well have Jesus with me and be sent flowers every spring by a god who loves me; and I may well be destined for hell. But I know that and still I am an atheist. Call me irrational or selfish or misled or blind if you must. The point is pleading hasn't, doesn't and won't lead me anywhere.
:arrow: Pleading from myself. Praying, asking Jesus into my heart and reading the Bible won't do it for me. The danger when people go looking for something they really want is that they have a habit of finding it. Sometimes it is because that thing exists of course; but sometimes it is because they have created the thing without realising it.

If anyone is upset or annoyed by anything in this post please at least count to ten before replying. Hope that doesn't sound condescending.

I'd enjoy discussing any questions anyone has about my atheism. I will attempt to answer warts and all. Expect no staunch defense of my views and certainly no attack on yours from me.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#37

Post by x'tian » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:31 am

To Jesusfreak, put your hand in front of your face and focus on it, then focus on the object behind it, then focus back to your hand. Isn't that how an eye readjust to distances, just like a camera?

Yes, we do read the Bible, and its because we see flaws in terms of astronomy, biology, geology, geography, philosophy, morality...etc. that there are atheists. You've placed the bible on a high pedestal that you can't see its flaws. When you love something that much, you tend not to see the flaws. You lost your objectivity because of your passion. Objectivity is lost when the heart meddles in the affairs of the mind.

Take it from this perspective, without making a claim that the god of classic monotheism exists, you question the veracity of the bible? Is it really god's word and not just the mythologies of an ancient civilization who spent 400 years as slaves in egypt, then spent another few decades/centuries (i forgot the exact number, i admit as much) as an illiterate, nomadic tribe, that didn't even have the intelligence to add a commandment against slavery to stop the vicious cycle of human oppression (even amongst themselves). Do we really take their word that they are "God's chosen people" without acknowledging the probability that this was just a self-serving claim on their part?

Answer me this, how can you make an objective claim regarding religion when you've never studied anything else besides the Bible? When was the last time you've studied Buddhist, Hindu, Islam or any other text of another religion?

You made the assumption that we never read the bible when a more honest claim would be that you never read anything but the bible.

Every religion should be self-critical, otherwise it soon degenerates into a self-righteous hypocrisy.
- Alan Watts, American theologian and philosopher (1915-1973)

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#38

Post by bizzt » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:57 pm

x'tian wrote: Yes, we do read the Bible, and its because we see flaws in terms of astronomy, biology, geology, geography, philosophy, morality...etc. that there are atheists. You've placed the bible on a high pedestal that you can't see its flaws. When you love something that much, you tend not to see the flaws. You lost your objectivity because of your passion. Objectivity is lost when the heart meddles in the affairs of the mind.
Is the Bible made out to be a Book of Astronomy or Biology. Give me some Flaws in Morality? What do you base your Morality on? What Flaws are shown in Geography, Philosophy? Examples would be appreciated! How about you place the fact there is no God on such a Pedastel that anything that relates to any God is non-Existent.

I find your last sentence rather amusing considering it is the Heart that allows us to use our Mind. Passion for something/Anything allows us to use our Mind to explore it!
Take it from this perspective, without making a claim that the god of classic monotheism exists, you question the veracity of the bible? Is it really god's word and not just the mythologies of an ancient civilization who spent 400 years as slaves in egypt, then spent another few decades/centuries (i forgot the exact number, i admit as much) as an illiterate, nomadic tribe, that didn't even have the intelligence to add a commandment against slavery to stop the vicious cycle of human oppression (even amongst themselves). Do we really take their word that they are "God's chosen people" without acknowledging the probability that this was just a self-serving claim on their part?
I find it funny that you use the word Mythologies! Let's take God out of the Picture shall we and really look at the Bible for what it is worth. Tell me what claims you can make Historically speaking, Geographically Speaking that have been proven to be wrong in the Bible? The one thing among many is that the Bible has stood up to Scrutiny over Archeaology and Dates.
Answer me this, how can you make an objective claim regarding religion when you've never studied anything else besides the Bible? When was the last time you've studied Buddhist, Hindu, Islam or any other text of another religion?
And how would you know if anybody has ever studied Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam?
You made the assumption that we never read the bible when a more honest claim would be that you never read anything but the bible.

Every religion should be self-critical, otherwise it soon degenerates into a self-righteous hypocrisy.
- Alan Watts, American theologian and philosopher (1915-1973)
Have you read the Bible? What makes the Bible So unbelievable if it is that to you? And how can your claim that to be honest when you do not know the people on this Forum?

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#39

Post by x'tian » Sat Oct 22, 2005 5:19 pm

Before I start, I would like you to know that I was responding to the topic: Why are there even Atheists?

First, I did not mean that the Bible was a book about astronomy, biology,…etc. I meant that it had flaws with regards to these subjects within its texts. Why is this important? Because it is part of Christian precept that the Bible is the perfect word of God, and history shows us that this has been subject to abuse by man.

(I hope you understand or you offer me the courtesy of taking the argument from my perspective rather than yours. In the Ethics of Argumentation, this is known as The Principle of Charitable Interpretation)

I'd like you to remember that it was you who asked for examples and these examples should not be viewed as attacks on your beliefs, rather as critical and objective observations on my part.

There are so many instances where the Bible is incorrect with its statements or we find fault in. The moderator removed my original post. I suggest you read Robert Ingersoll's essay About the Bible or read as an example Deuteronomy 22:13-30

Furthermore, these are not evidences of the non-existence of god, but rather evidences that the Bible was written by a primitive, barbaric, uneducated people and not the “Perfect Word of God” and basically what most mythologies are like. If I was a Christian, I'd be too embarrass to make the claim that the Bible is the word of God, or inspired, or anything associated with my perfect God.

Moving on, what pedestal? We don't have anything to put up on a pedestal. Atheism is an absence of belief. You have to have something to place on a pedestal.

Please elaborated on your argument that the Heart allows us to use our Mind? How? Do you mean in terms of Biology? Anatomy? Please define your use of the word Heart and Mind to avoid any definitional failures and committing the fallacy of equivocation.

I disagree with your statement: Passion for something/Anything allows us to use our Mind to explore it!

I think it is curiosity or necessity that motivates an individual to explore/learn, study something. You may have passion to learn something, but the underlying causation is curiosity. Like if a person (without being exposed to theistic or atheistic concepts) asks, who created the world. His question was brought about by curiosity rather than passion. Passion is an after-effect.

I would like to know of examples where the Bible has stood up to Scrutiny over Archeaology and Dates. As you've stated. I've never found one.

My apologies, it was an unfair generalization that you've never studied other religions. It's just something I often encounter with theists.

It's my experience that those people who study more than one religion have an amazingly different perspective than someone who is an adherent of 1 particular religion.

Yes, I do read the Bible, some atheists do, and some atheist already stopped, and not that they didn't or never read it.

You ask why the Bible is unbelievable to us. It's not unbelievable, we believe that it was based on ancient texts of an ancient civilization that evolved into the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam.

However, we don't believe that the Bible is the Perfect Word of God. To describe it as such gave it an autocratic authority over the lives of men and subject to abuse by evil men which resulted in witch burning, crusades, inquisitions, holocaust, anti-semitism, 9/11, terrorist acts of muslim extremist, death by exorcisms, intolerance of other religions (during the birth of the protestant reformation, catholics were killing protestants and vice versa) etc. It's a scary thought what the future might bring.

It would be safer for humanity if it was called Some Good Ideas inspired by God. And the fact that it incites questions and criticism from non-Christians (not just atheists) as in a court of law, suggests that there is reasonable doubt. Hence, the Perfect Word of God is such a precarious claim.

I hope I was able to give what ever you asked for. Peace. Take Care.

P.S. I did not mean the people here are dishonest. I made the wrong choice of words, sorry. I hope we can continue to keep this discussion as civilized as possible.

P.P.S. I hope this satisfies the forum's and the moderator's standards of what a discussion is

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#40

Post by erzeon » Sun Oct 23, 2005 5:12 am

LionTamarin wrote: I do not believe in a god Christian or otherwise. But, however, I do believe in the concept of a god or gods and understand how people can believe in those things. My particular belief is that there is no supreme being at all, and what you all are not understanding about atheism is that it is not just the disbelief in a Christian god but any god. You take it as a personal attack on your savior, but Atheists simply do not believe. We have faith in the belief that there is no god the same way you have faith in the Christian dogma.
Does anyone know what religion I come under, I believe in a god but not necessarily the christian god because I believe the bible isn't very accurate?

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#41

Post by Believer » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:26 pm

erzeon wrote:
LionTamarin wrote: I do not believe in a god Christian or otherwise. But, however, I do believe in the concept of a god or gods and understand how people can believe in those things. My particular belief is that there is no supreme being at all, and what you all are not understanding about atheism is that it is not just the disbelief in a Christian god but any god. You take it as a personal attack on your savior, but Atheists simply do not believe. We have faith in the belief that there is no god the same way you have faith in the Christian dogma.
Does anyone know what religion I come under, I believe in a god but not necessarily the christian god because I believe the bible isn't very accurate?
It is accurate, hence too many thousands of years studying it and gaining better understanding. Our lovely atheists just like to say it isn't accurate, too bad for them, they believe it is more logical to believe in nothing that created everything.

To answer your question, you are a deist, one who believes in God and that's it. I don't know what religion you would be put under though, sorry :cry:.

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#42

Post by Jbuza » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:59 pm

erzeon wrote:I believe the bible isn't very accurate?
What are the inaccuracies? Perhaps man's explanations are not very accurate.

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#43

Post by erzeon » Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:55 pm

Well I just said I believe the bible isn't very accurate. I'm getting a bible off a friend today and going to study that. I'll let you know when I find something that I don't believe happened.

I also don't like how christianity has changed due to changes in society's values. So that's why I believe christianity is corrupted, I also think that there may be some truths to it.

So does anyone know what the religion is called where you believe in a God but not necessarily the exact one contained in the bible? Just some greater being.

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#44

Post by Blob » Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:59 pm

erzeon wrote:So does anyone know what the religion is called where you believe in a God but not necessarily the exact one contained in the bible? Just some greater being.
Monotheism.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#45

Post by erzeon » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:26 pm

Blob wrote: Monotheism.
That's just a belief in only one god. I don't really no for sure if there are one or multiple gods, I just believe in god(s) but not the exact one as described in the bible.

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